In a recent development, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) has strongly urged the Federal Government to ramp up investments in the production of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to address the ongoing revenue crisis in the country. Emphasizing the critical importance of revenue generation, ANAN President James Neminebor highlighted that the focus on crude oil neglects the immense potential of the gas sector, despite Nigeria being richer in gas reserves than crude oil.
Speaking at the 2024 National Budget Workshop in Abuja, organized by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in collaboration with ANAN, Neminebor underscored the global demand for gas and the need for Nigeria to capitalize on its abundant gas resources. He emphasized the underexploited potential of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG), a government-owned entity, as a key player in boosting revenue. Neminebor suggested that increasing the number of NLNG-like ventures would significantly contribute to the nation’s revenue base.
Strategic gas investment is needed to secure Nigeria’s future.
He stated, “If we have four of such, that will give the Federal Government enough revenue. We need more than three of NLNG in Nigeria because gas is by far more available as reserves in this country than crude oil. The Federal Government should, therefore, invest in gas and have a serious hold on it to expand Nigeria’s revenue base.” Backing ANAN’s call for strategic investment, Samuel Agbeluyi, the President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, stressed the urgency of adequate revenue generation.
Agbeluyi asserted that borrowing money cannot be a sustainable solution and urged political leaders to ensure the prudent utilization of collected funds. To contextualize the urgency of this call for investment, it is essential to consider the statistics presented by the Federal Government in July 2023. According to official reports, Nigeria boasts an impressive 208.83 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, constituting 33% of Africa’s total gas reserves of 620 trillion cubic feet. This positions Nigeria as a gas-rich nation, ranking first in Africa with a remarkable life index of 94 years for its gas reserves.
Unlocking Nigeria’s gas potential and sustaining growth.
However, despite the vast potential, the gas sector has not received the attention it deserves. The call for increased investment in gas production aligns with the global trend towards cleaner energy sources and the rising demand for natural gas. Nigeria stands at a crossroads where strategic decisions in gas production can not only alleviate the current revenue crisis but also position the country as a major player in the global energy landscape. To fully capitalize on this pivotal moment, policymakers must collaborate with industry experts and stakeholders to formulate a comprehensive roadmap for the gas sector’s development.
Additionally, as regards investing in existing entities like NLNG, the government should explore opportunities to develop new ventures and technologies that harness Nigeria’s abundant gas resources. The diversification of the energy sector will not only contribute to revenue but also enhance energy security and environmental sustainability. Moreover, there is a need for comprehensive policy frameworks that encourages the private sectors participation in the gas industry. A conducive regulatory environment, coupled with incentives for exploration and production, can attract both local and international investors, fostering a robust and competitive gas market.
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As the world grapples with the transition to cleaner energy, Nigeria has a golden opportunity to leverage its gas wealth for economic growth. The government’s commitment to addressing the gas production crisis should go beyond rhetoric and translate into concrete actions, fostering a resilient and sustainable energy sector that propels the nation towards a prosperous future. It is imperative for political leaders to heed the call of ANAN and institute strategic measures to elevate Nigeria’s gas production to new heights, ensuring a brighter and more sustainable economic outlook for the nation.